Published on Sunday, 22 March 2015


Blur Studio & the Batmobile Make a Splash with RealFlow

In a cinematic trailer Blur Studio recently completed for the game ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’, the team needed to portray the Batmobile making its entrance, emerging from underneath a lake. VFX artist Brandon Young explained his approach to showing the vehicle’s high speed dash through the water. “We needed to make it look believable, dramatic and really cool at the same time,” he said, “Our FX schedule was about two months with an FX team of around five people. The pressures included getting other shots done on other shows and a very tight schedule.


When the Batmobile leaps out of the water and lands, it kicks up the water, producing spray. Brandon used RealFlow’s Hybrido fluid solver as a particle technique. “We first modelled and animated the Batmobile, as it’s very important to have a final or close to final animation because the speed of the animation can drastically change the setup,” he said. “What I did do, however, is make some lower poly geometry to use as simulation collisions. I then parented it to the original high poly Batmobile, baked out the animation and then used that for my simulation.


''To adjust the looks, I could control the amount and height of the fluids within RealFlow pretty easily. This actually happened a few times when the client wanted more, higher splashes to make it more dramatic and have the Batmobile clearly silhouetted. Realflow has one great feature under its main Hybrido section called interaction factor. This is a multiplier in which the collision geometry interacts with the fluid. It can increase or decrease the splashes and interactivity.

“I usually use RealFlow for most of my fluids because, for me, it’s the easiest fluid solver and package to use - even if you are a fluid wiz. Its greatest benefit is the ease of use. Out of the box, you can quickly set up a decent simulation in no time.


“Although at Blur we generally need to do some back end coding for our pipeline because we use a lot of proprietary software, RealFlow integrated into the pipeline fairly easily. We didn’t need to do a lot of backend work to make it work on our farm. For instance, out of the box, you can use Thinkbox Deadline render management software to submit Realflow simulation jobs to the farm. It also has its own submission tools as well, in case you aren’t using Deadline.

Overall it was pretty straightforward. RealFlow made it easy for a quick turnaround, and it was invaluable to me to use RealFlow Nodes in order to do wedges, or versions of the simulation with small changes to really hone in on the look or even to combine sims to add greater detail.''

You can see a breakdown of the simulations here.


Meanwhile RealFlow 2015 is scheduled for release before mid-year and focuses on quality and control. This release will include a robust method to calculate the geometry distance field, and has a new Crown Daemon. Also, new Spreadsheets functionality, available for most of the RealFlow Nodes, will make it possible to select, filter, modify and visualize operations. There will be new tools for Splines Curves as well, for importing curves and for enhanced dSpline daemons and emitters.